Police say the man accused of rape is behind bars thanks to the help of vigilant shoppers at a Kroger store in the eastern Georgia state of Georgia.
According to Chatham County Police, Gregory Hawthorne, 25, was arrested on a charge of aggravated rape on Tuesday after he was charged with assaulting a woman he had chased after entering a toilet at a Berwick supermarket about 15 miles south of Savannah.
Authorities said witnesses heard the woman screaming.
A group of buyers chased Hathorn as he tried to escape, holding him until officers arrived.
“In general, I would always advise you to call us … because I hated to see anyone injured,” said Chief of Police FF Hadley, WSAV reported. “It simply came to our notice then. We are very grateful to those citizens, it was very brave for them to do that. “Very often we see a lot of people standing around on the phone filming something, but they will not interfere.”
Hawthorne is also charged with aggravated robbery and possession of illegal batteries, the agency said in a statement.
He remains unchallenged in Chatham County Jail from Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities say the woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment.